I’m not asking for legal advice, but I’d like input from folks here who are hip to trademark, copyright, and libel law.
Suppose I drew a comic strip that regularly involved stars of old movies as characters. For instance, my main character might fantasize that he’s walked into Rick’s Café Américain and sidle up to the bar for some comical interaction with Bogie.
Would I be opening myself to legal hot water? The only comic strip I can think of that regularly involved celebs was John Darling, but I feel our society has grown more litigious in the last 20 years. Would it be any better if I made the characters recognizable, but gave them parody names, in the style of Mad Magazine?